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Daycare Negligence | Personal Injury | Eisenberg Law

Daycare Negligence Can Be Attributed To Hiring Practices

The injuries and deaths of children that happen while a child is at daycare never fail to make headlines. Injuries can arise at a daycare in any number of ways, from playground injuries to food allergy situations, to unsafe conditions inside the daycare and even to abuse by daycare providers.

During summer, we see a rise in cases involving hot car deaths when a child has been overlooked by daycare staff and left buckled in a car seat inside a vehicle on a hot summer day. In most of those cases, daycare negligence comes down to maintenance and repair issues or negligent actions of staff.

A recent case in Alabama went a little bit beyond that to include the daycare’s hiring practices as reason for a child’s daycare death.

The Johnson Case

Parents in Mobile, Alabama, sued their daycare provider for the death of their 5-year old son who was found dead along the road a few miles from the daycare. It is thought that the driver of the shuttle that picked him up for daycare inadvertently left him in the vehicle where he died and she later removed his body from the vehicle and left it along the roadway.

The family sued the daycare alleging negligence in their screening and hiring practice.  A simple background check would have revealed a lengthy arrest and conviction record for the driver, dating back to 1991. The driver’s arrest history included multiple counts of theft of property, no driver’s license, failure to appear in court charges, giving a false name, and fugitive from justice charges.

Negligence and Duty of Care

One of the primary components of any negligence case is proving that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care. In other words, did the daycare have a duty to provide the family a safe means of travel to and from the daycare and care for the child while he was in their hands.

Just about anyone will say, “Yes, the daycare had a duty to keep the child safe while in their care.” That’s the function of a daycare, after all! Where the case becomes interesting and less clear-cut is in whether or not the daycare provider performed their due diligence in hiring the driver.

This case demonstrates the many different factors that can influence daycare negligence. Few consider the hiring practices of the daycare as a factor in determining negligence, but in this case it may play a very important role.

This is a good example of why you should always seek the advice of an attorney when an accident has occurred. Daycare negligence cases can be very complex and require the services of an experienced liability attorney. If you suspect you are the victim of negligence, contact Eisenberg Law Offices in Madison WI for a free case consultation. Call 608-256-8356 or email to arrange a free consultation.